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Smoking ban considered at all county schools
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Hoping to make county campuses truly smoke-free, members of the Warren County School Board have asked for a legal opinion about whether they can totally ban all smoking on school grounds.
The action comes after some School Board members expressed concern that parents were pulling up to unload children while smoking in their vehicle. This puts the children at risk to the dangers of second-hand smoke.
Presently, school policy forbids any smoking near entrances to schools where people would have to walk through the smoke to get in and out of the building. There are smoking areas for ball games and other extracurricular activities, as smoking is already forbidden among the crowd even in open-air assembly areas such as football and baseball fields.
Director of Schools Dr. Jerry Hale noted the schools are in compliance with state regulations regarding smoking on school campuses. He is unsure if the school system could impose even stricter regulations.
While School Board member Bill Zechman supports a change to smoke-free campuses, such a policy would also create some challenges. Enforcing such a ban would be very difficult, if not impossible, with School Board member Jeff Lee rejecting an idea to try to get school resource officers to help in enforcement.
“They already have their hands full and don’t have time to do that,” Lee said.
In the end, the School Board asked school attorney Robin Phillips to research the legalities of the proposed changes and see if a stepped-up smoking policy for the school system would be legal.